a milestone is a milestone, no matter

Since the weather turned warm, I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to going around the house without wig or hat, “au naturel.” At first I felt shy about even allowing Hubby to see me like that because I always considered the only thing standing between me and really ugly was my hair. While it wasn’t perfect, at least it was soft and shiny when clean and it fluffed just enough to fool people into thinking my head isn’t shaped like a boiled egg. Having been relieved from dog-sitting when my daughter and family took their dog home after a month-long vacation, I set about to vacuum the dog hair from the carpet one last time. Yea, sure. I was doing all this still dressed in my pajamas AND bareheaded.

After that it felt quite natural to take the morning paper out to the front porch to sit and read with Hubby while we waited for the inspector from the county planning office to come by and do a final inspection of the recent addition to the house. Naturally I lost all sense of time and when I did remember to check my watch I saw it was five minutes until 10 o’clock, the scheduled arrival time.

I flew to my room and threw my clothes on. I almost reached for a wig–trying to decide if the red one would be too “loud” with the turquoise blouse I’d put on or if the streaked brownish/blond one would be too hot–and reached instead for the fine-toothed comb in the drawer. I combed my hair–all half-inch of it on top, a quarter or less on the sides and back–and went out to show Hubby. He confirmed that it was indeed long enough to see a difference after the comb through. Then I sat down and picked up the paper.

When the inspector did show up a few minutes later, I stayed put. He came up on the porch and hardly glanced my way as he went inside with Hubby. A few minutes later, they both came out again and instead of hiding I sat there while he talked to us about the inspection. I looked straight into his eyes and made some comment or other about the procedures and didn’t bat an eyelid and then he left. I was surprised that I didn’t try to explain why my hair was so short–for all he knew I had it cut that way. No apologies.

Why in the world do women grow up thinking they somehow “owe it” to others to look attractive. It may be silly for some, but to me to have been able to present myself just as I am without any coverup at all, that’s a real breakthrough–and one to brag about.

17 thoughts on “a milestone is a milestone, no matter

  1. Oh Alice I have to tell you I am grinning from ear to ear right now! THAT took extreme courage for you to do and it took me a lot longer than you to get there so I am proud of you for seeing yourself as more than “that bald woman”, and one of true inner beauty and value! Some women look their whole lives to discover this truth (some NEVER find it) and cancer gave us a fast pass to the front of that line. Way to go!

    • You’re so right. I think I’ll be able to face the rest of the world sans wig in about 2 or 3 weeks. It sure is good to have a “buddy” who understands in a way others simply can’t. Thanks for writing.

  2. Good for you!!!! My friend Maria, who owns a popular restaurant here in town had chemo, a few months ago,
    too. I popped in for lunch this week for lunch and teased her about her crew cut because the last time I saw her she was bald. She giggled and says when she needs a comb again, it’s coming off. We’re all just hoping and praying that it doesn’t come back this time.

    • I have to admit, Kay, that it sure is easier to take care of a bald head than one full of difficult to manage hair. I’m looking forward to trying different short styles as it grows out, and will probably settle for a short one that can be “wash and wear”. And I’m pretty sure I won’t waste money again on coloring it. Tell Maria she has the right idea. Wish her the best from me when you see her again.

  3. Good for you Alice! men go bald all the time and we never pay heed to it so why not be the same. At least yours will grow again! Another hurdle conquered!

    • I feel pretty proud of myself too, Grannymar. Every day I’m learning I only have myself to please in the long run; I’ve spent too much time in the past worrying about what everybody else thought.

      • Hey, hey, hey!!! what about me? Don’t I count? After 41 years as your hubby and having seen you in all shapes and forms, I would like you to try to please me occasionally as well as yourself!!!

        Just kidding, but I don’t want you and your blog friends to forget that I read all your blogs and comments.


        Back at Hubby from Alice: You know what the kids always said, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks Ruthe. Hubby doesn’t seem to mind however bad I look as he feels good enough about himself not to need an eye candy on his arm. Conversely, he’s not one to compliment either so the few I get from him are well remembered. I much prefer a man who puts intelligence before beauty. (At least I hope I’m smarter than I am pretty, because that’s more important to me, too.)


  4. Oh, bravo, hurrah, and applause.

    It’s sex, of course. We are trained to look nice to attract the opposite sex. No hair isn’t pretty…and that’s wrong. It’s simply marvelous. πŸ™‚ Bravo again.

  5. You earned your bragging rights. We gals expend too much energy explaining the dust on the furniture, the dishes in the sink, the lint on the floor, etc. Here’s what I’ve learned…few people even notice. I’ll bet you a spaghetti dinner that the inspector was there to do his job and never really looked at your hair. Now, if you had been topless….well, that might be different.

    • Yes but I can’t be sure he would even have noticed even. Since the lumpectomy, however, I do have a dimple beneath my nipple. (Hey I rhymed!)

    • Thanks Michele, but I’ll be even more of an example if I refrain from coloring as well. So far it looks like a good possibility with mostly white coming back, a nice white not the usual yellowish white to go through first, but there’s an interesting black strip on top near the middle–a bit too skunk-like but we’ll see! : )

  6. That was very courageous. I struggle with this constantly. My son laughs at me – which I think is a good thing, that he sees my desire to always “look right” for the world as a silly thing – as I try to find high heels that I won’t trip and and insist on putting on mascara before we walk to the supermarket.

    I don’t put on make up at home “just in case someone should pop by” anymore, which is a step in the right direction!

    • I have to say it was very difficult. I’m getting better though. Every day this week I’ve gone out in the public–shopping, the gym, the swimming pool, sans wig. It still startles me when I see myself reflected in the windows of parked cars in parking lots. OMG! WHO IS THAT SKINHEAD?!!!

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